If the New York nukes had the same level of subsidy per unit of electricity generated as wind or solar, they’d be making even more profit than they will under the clean power plan.
“and is viable only because it is so heavily subsidized by taxpayers.”
Pretty much every form of generation is subsidized in one way or another. The biggest subsidy is not costing the emissions from fossil fuels.
“France certainly did invest in nuclear for energy production. However during a summer heat wave, the water temperature in the rivers that cooled the reactors became too hot and as a result nuclear reactors had to be shut down. 30,000 people are known to have died from the heat and later estimates put the total at closer to 70,000 people having died during the forced shutdowns.”
The death toll across Europe was around 35,000. Roughly half of that was in France. Around 7000 in Germany. The causes for the high death toll in France have been examined extensively, and I’ve seen no mention of an electricity disruption in any of the analyses. Air conditioning is rare in France, so I don’t even know what the theory is for how a disruption could have been a contributing factor.
“France is now replacing the reactors and building energy plants using renewable energy.”
For political reasons, the ruling parties have stated their intent to gradually increase the share of electricity generated by intermittent renewables. They haven’t started replacing reactors yet and won’t for some years. But the volatile French political landscape can change a lot in the meantime.
“Nuclear plants definitely emit”
Mostly trace amounts of C-14 and tritium–both of which are naturally-occurring radioisotopes.
“and their irradiated fuel will need to be maintained for literally tens of thousands of years”
There is no such need. The Finnish approach–whole fuel sequester–will use a sealed entombment after the deep granite repository is full. No maintenance required. If we remove the uranium from spent fuel, that reduces its profile by over 90%, and that uranium can be back-blended into tailings and reburied, or dispersed into the oceans. Again, no maintenance required. Or the uranium and all the heavy actinides can be burned in fast reactors, leaving only fission products. The short-lived products would need to be maintained, but only for around 10 years per batch. The longer lived products would need to be sequestered for a few hundred years. We could look after it, or we could just drop it down a deep borehole and seal it up.
“Current storage facilities have already reported leaking drums of intensely hot radioactive waste which is so hazardous that it can’t be removed or the containment vessels replaced.”
If it is intensely hot, that means it is highly radioactive. That would mean it has a short half life. Which would mean it won’t be hot for very long. But if you are talking about drums of waste, you are not talking about spent fuel from power reactors.
“Instead of ‘safe’ storage lasting a couple of hundred thousand years…it became unsafe in a couple of decades.”
I’m guessing you are conflating the wastes from bomb production. Nobody purported that those drums would be good for even hundreds of years, much less hundreds of thousands.
“Btw. The USA got 10% of its total energy from solar and wind last month!”
Total electricity. Not total energy. Big difference.
“That is a lot of energy”
And nuclear, by itself, generated a lot more electricity than wind and solar combined. So that’s an even bigger deal, right?
“Solar and wind are far and away the most built new energy infrastructure world wide.”
In terms of nameplate capacity, yes. But the actual increase in generation wasn’t even enough to meet new demand. Result: annual burning of fossil fuels is still increasing.
“Renewables have surpassed coal and fossil fuels to be the cheapest form of energy production.”
The cheapest energy is probably burning sticks and animal dung–a common practice in many third-world countries. Cheapest electricity is highly variable from one region to another.
“An energy renaissance is occurring in Africa where access to cheap electricity had always been a stumbling block to growth.”
Last I heard, coal, gas and oil consumption for Africa was still increasing, and less than 1% of energy in Africa was generated by wind and solar combined.
“Texas leads all the states in renewable energy production.”
In fact, our per capita wind production is roughly double that of Germany. (And the credit for that goes mainly to Republicans. The wind boom was kicked off by the RPS passed under Governor Bush and then tripled under Governor Perry–in both cases with both state legislative houses controlled by Republicans.)
“Maybe you start calling it Texas Renewables instead of the old Texas Crude?”
With the boom in wind and solar in Texas, this has been the effect on our carbon footprint:
2004 to 2014: Million metric tons CO2
642.6 618.5 629.5 626.3 590.7 556.8 589.5 608.7 603.2 631.1 641.7
The largest dip was due to the great recession, but our carbon emissions have been increasing in recent years. And that’s despite replacing some coal plants with gas plants. The Texas example is a model for how renewables can coexist and even cooperate with fossil fuels–which shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone. This is Texas after all.